December 17, 2014 – Former Coosa Country Club golf course superintendent Ron Sinnock has been inducted into the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Hall of Fame.
Sinnock, 72, was superintendent at Coosa Country Club for 25 years in a nearly 40-year career until he retired in 2005.
There he prepared the golf course for a number of Georgia State Golf Association events including two State Amateur championships and the first State Mid-Amateur in 1982.
He was among pioneers bringing the first, finer-bladed bentgrass putting greens to Georgia.
His standing as a major figure in the golf course maintenance profession in the state was underlined in 1999 when he was named the Georgia GCSA’s Superintendent of the Year.
Inducting Sinnock at the Georgia GCSA’s annual awards
banquet at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island on December 8, Hall of Fame committee chairman Anthony Williams, CGCS praised Sinnock’s professionalism, turfgrass expertise and ability as a mentor.
Williams said the caliber of people who pushed for Sinnock’s induction spoke about his impact because several among them were already in the Hall of Fame.
Sinnock’s long tenure as a superintendent was further proof, Williams said: “Because only the good ones last. They really last. And Ron Sinnock is a good one.”
Sinnock served two separate stints on the Georgia GCSA board of directors. He also served as the Georgia state director of the now defunct Southern Turfgrass Association.
He hailed from Illinois and joined the Army straight out of high school. After his service, he found himself on the golf course with some friends who were good golfers.
Soon he wasn’t just playing he was working on that course. “I just fell in love with it,” he says.
Sinnock became superintendent at Chattahoochee Golf Course in Gainesville in 1968.
For all the big tournaments he hosted and prominent roles he played, many speak highest of Sinnock simply in the way he went about his work.
“He was always willing to give a helping hand and assist others in the profession in any way possible,” said Harold Franklin, from Fields Ferry Golf Club in Calhoun and chairman of the Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation. “He always exhibited the utmost professional manner while representing and dealing with his peers and club members.”
Tim Cunningham, CGCS who came to Coosa Country Club when Sinnock retired, echoes those sentiments.
“He was very helpful in that transition,” Cunningham said. “He worked with me for those first few days to give me some insight into the golf course which was very nice of him. He was very friendly, very helpful. He is so well thought of.”
Recent years in Georgia have been dominated by conversions from bentgrass to ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens because of their hardiness in the heat.
But long before they were available, Sinnock was a pioneer in the other direction, converting older, coarser bermudagrass greens to bentgrass at Chattahoochee then Coosa.
Those were bold moves at a time when science and technology in support of bentgrass were a long way short of what they are now. Instead, Sinnock’s best allies were time and effort.
“You had to love the job,” Sinnock said. “They were long hours and often seven-day weeks. But I couldn’t have done anything else I don’t think. There was always something very satisfying about being responsible for something that was alive and growing. I loved working outside, and getting a paycheck to support my family was enough for me at the end of the week.”
Sinnock retired in 2005 but he didn’t move far from golf. Today, he and his wife, Sheri, live on Meadow Lakes Golf Course in Cedartown.
“I am very honored to be nominated and to be thought of in this way,” he said of his induction. “There are some wonderful superintendents in the Hall of Fame. Georgia superintendents have long been regarded as innovators in the profession and to be in their company is an honor.”
Others inducted into the Superintendent Hall of Fame along with Sinnock were William Shirley, CGCS from Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta and the late Bobby McGee, who hosted the only U.S. Open in Georgia at Atlanta Athletic Club in 1976.